TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

TEMPORARY CONVERSION

“There is the possibility of a joyful conversion proving to be temporary” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 21st).

This title is misleading as well as the statement above for conversion is permanent.  I’ve labeled this post “temporary conversion” because for some there is a short-lived excitement toward Christianity, but in the end they fall short of it.  “…this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy…endures for a while, and…falls away” (Matt 13:20-21 ESV).

“He seems to have received the Word, he is full of joy, but he has no root in him, and that is why he ends up with nothing at all….there is the possibility of this very joyful ‘conversion,’ and yet there is nothing there in a vital, living sense, and it proves temporary” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 21st).

“Instead of believing God, he believes the contradiction of his own ungodly heart; and hopes to be saved whether God wills it or not” Richard Baxter (ref#225, Aug 25th).

“Judas was in the company of the apostles all along, he really belonged to the world, and the fate of the world is to perish….The end of the non-Christian, even though he may be highly religious, is perdition, which means perishing” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, March 14th).  “…Not everyone who talks about God comes from God….” (1 John 4:1 MSG).

“He is not a true Christian who only bears the visible badges of Christianity, but he who, with the visible badges, also partakes of the invisible grace (Mark 16:16)” Thomas Watson (ref#48, “The Counterfeits of the New Creature”).

“…we want an experience with God…You don’t experience God; you get to know him.  You submit to him.  You enjoy him, He is, after all, a person” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p21).

PRAYER

UNANSWERED PRAYER II 

“…our prayers are heard even though we have not seen an answer yet” John Calvin (ref#164, May 12th).

“I often find that when God doesn’t answer a prayer, he wants to expose something in me” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p168).

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, [Paul’s thorn in his flesh] that it should leave me” (2 Cor 12:8 ESV).

“It may seem from this text that Paul has not prayed in faith, for we read everywhere in Scripture that we shall obtain whatever we ask in faith.  Paul prays, and does not obtain what he asks for….” John Calvin (ref#164, Aug 24th).  “…as there are different ways of asking, so there are different ways of obtaining.  We ask in simple terms for those things for which we have an express promise.  For example, we ask for the perfecting of God’s kingdom, the hallowing of his name (Matt 6:9), the remission of our sins, and everything that is advantageous to us.  But when we think that the kingdom of God can, indeed, must be advanced in this particular manner or in that, and what is necessary for the hallowing of his name, we are often mistaken in our opinion….We must pray for the grace to will what God wills and to leave it to his wisdom how he brings his will about” John Calvin (ref#164, Aug 24th).

FATHER, help me distinguish between asking and giving You directions.  My carnal mind naturally thinks about how to solve my prayer request.  It is essential that my mind be trained to think of needs not solutions.

“If no answer comes, we are not to sit down…and suppose that it is not God’s will to give an answer. No; there must be something in the prayer that is not as God would have it, childlike and believing; we must seek for grace to pray so that the answer may come.  It is far easier to the flesh to submit without the answer than to yield itself to be searched and purified by the Spirit, until it has learnt to pray the prayer of faith” Andrew Murray (ref#19, FIFTH LESSON).

“…every dream and desire of your heart that you express to God will in His time be answered in His way—and always beyond what you could imagine, even when the answer is no” Becky Tirabassi (ref#87, Personal Comments page).

FATHER, what an encouraging, faith-uplifting comment!  You, All-Love, could not approach Your covenant of prayer in any other way.  May You be praised!

PRAYER

PRAYER IS NOT… 

“The chief thing is, not to know what God has said we must do, but that God Himself says it to us.  It is not the law, and not the book, not the knowledge of what is right, that works obedience, but the personal influence of God and His living fellowship.  And even so it is not the knowledge of what God has promised, but the presence of God Himself as the Promiser, that awakens faith and trust in prayer.  It is only in the full presence of God that disobedience and unbelief become impossible” Andrew Murray (ref#19).

“…don’t hunt for a feeling in prayer.  Deep in our psyches we want an experience with God or an experience in prayer.  Once we make that our quest, we lose God.  You don’t experience God; you get to know him” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p21).

“The idea of prayer is not in order to get answers from God; prayer is perfect and complete oneness with God….We are not here to prove God answers prayer; we are here to be living monuments of God’s grace” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 6th).

“The purpose of God is not to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 22nd).

“It is not…by a sort of imputation that the Father looks upon us as if we were in Christ, though we are not in Him.  No; the Father wants to see us living in Him: thus shall our prayer really have power to prevail.  Abiding in Christ not only renews the will to pray aright, but secures the full power of His merits to us” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p139).

PRAYER

INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD

“The wonder is not that God hears prayer, but that He is our Father” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p63).

“Though we have God’s promises in the Bible and full liberty to take them, the spiritual power is lacking unless God himself speaks them to us” Andrew Murray (ref#11, p72).

“Prayer that comes as holy fire from God, and that rises as holy incense to God; prayer that takes me, with every want and infirmity, with every sin and sorrow, to the arms of the Father through the smitten hands of the Son; prayer that sweetens my solitude, calms my agitated spirit, weakens the power of sin, nourishes the desire for holiness, and transports the soul through anticipation beyond the region of winds and storms and tempests into the presence of God, where all is sunshine and peace—oh, what a wondrous privilege is this” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, June 3rd)!

“…when we are in His immediate presence and behold Him in all the glory of His throne of grace.  There, surely is the place for the child to trust its Father…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p32).

“There is nothing secret about communion with God.  If we live a holy life before God, broken of our pride and self-will, crying out for grace, then we will be in communion with God.  It is really that simple” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p247).

FATHER, I think of being in communion with You only when I pray.  But, of course we are together every moment that I am working out my salvation by making the effort to allow You to work Yourself into my actions which takes broken pride, self-will and crying out for grace.  Thank You for initiating constant communion.

“Hearts must be pure and hands clean that dare shut the door and be alone with God” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p29).

PRAYER

WHEN TO PRAY

“…pray without ceasing,” (1 Thes 5:17 ESV).

“…God wills that men should pray everywhere, but the place of His glory is in the solitudes, where He hides us in the cleft of the rock, and talks with man face to face as a man talks with his friend” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p35).

“…watching and praying is always necessary…we can never…overcome our old nature on our own.  The spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak; therefore we must watch and pray” John Calvin (ref#164, July 10th).

 “Come overwhelmed with life.  Come with a wandering mind.  Come messy.  So, instead of being frozen by your self-preoccupation, talk with God about your worries.  Tell him where you are weary…We are often so busy and overwhelmed that when we slow down to pray, we don’t know where our hearts are.  We don’t know what troubles us.  So, oddly enough, we might have to worry before we pray” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p33).

“God has willed that the working of His Spirit shall follow the prayer of His people.  He waits for their intercession because that is evidence of their preparation of heart—revealing to what extent they are ready to yield to His Spirit’s control.” Andrew Murray

“…the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom 8:26 ESV).

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

Prayer Facts:

“What do I lose when I have a praying life? Control. Independence. What do I gain? Friendship with God. A quiet heart. The living work of God in the hearts of those I love. The ability to roll back the tide of evil. Essentially, I lose my kingdom and get his. I move from being an independent player to a dependent lover. I move from being an orphan to a child of God” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p125-126).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You keep guard over knowledge, and overthrow the words of the treacherous (Prov 22:12), I will wait for You.

Because all Your decrees and precepts are sure (fixed, established, and trustworthy) (Ps 111:7), I will wait for You.

Because Your works stand fast and are established forever and ever (Ps 111:8), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: July 15th – 21st

July 15      Joel 1-3; Rom 2

July 16      Jonah 1-4; Rom 3

July 17      2 Kings 13-14; 2 Chron 25; Rom 4

July 18      Amos 1-3; Rom 5

July 19      Amos 4-6; Rom 6

July 20     Amos 7-9; Ps 44

July 21      Isa 1-3; Rom 7

PRELUDE OF PRAYER

 

Prayer Facts:

You don’t need self-discipline to pray continuously; you just need to be poor in spirit” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p65).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You keep covenant, loving-kindness, and mercy for those who love You and keep Your commandments (Neh 1:5), I will wait for You.

Because You do not withdraw Your eyes from me (Job 36:7), I will wait for You.

Because You open my ears to instruction and discipline (Job 36:10), I will wait for You.

Because You give songs of rejoicing in the night (Job 35:10), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: May 27th – June 2nd

May 27      Prov 3; 2 Cor 13

May 28      Prov 4; Ps 33

May 29      Prov 5; Matt 1

May 30      Prov 6; Matt 2

May 31      Prov 7; Matt 3

June 1       Prov 8; Matt 4

June 2       Prov 9; Matt 5

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

 

Prayer Facts:

“There is nothing secret about communion with God. If we live a holy life before God, broken of our pride and self-will, crying out for grace, then we will be in communion with God. It is really that simple” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p247).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You do not forsake those who seek You (Ps 9:10), I will wait for You.

Because You make a covering over those who take refuge in You and defend them (Ps 5:11), I will wait for You.

Because You will cause Your ear to hear the desires and the longing of the humble and oppressed, and will prepare and strengthen and direct their hearts (Ps 10:17), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: April 29th – May 5th

Apr 29            2 Sam 6; 1 Chron 13; Ps 27

Apr 30            1 Chron 14-15; 1 Cor 13

May 1              1 Chron 16; Ps 132

May 2             2 Sam 7; 1 Chron 17; 1 Cor 14

May 3             2 Sam 8-9; 1 Chron 18; 1 Cor 15

May 4             2 Sam 10; 1 Chron 19-20; 1 Cor 16

May 5             2 Sam 11-12; Ps 51